EXCLUSIVE: ‘It changed my life’: How a grandfather, 66, became an international sensation known as the ‘Barking Dog Man’ after a TV interview – and re-enacts his viral moment almost a decade on
- Ray Graham became a viral sensation for his barking dog impersonation in 2010
- His fame came after a TV interview about dangerous dogs on his Sydney street
- Mr Graham’s appearance on A Current Affair has been watched millions of times
- The 66-year-old grandfather is regularly asked to stop for selfies with strangers
You may not know his name, but you’ll almost certainly know his bark.
Ray Graham is a quiet and unassuming grandfather. He is married to his wife of four decades Kerry and still lives in the same home they bought more than 24 years ago.
But in April 2010, Mr Graham became an international sensation, after a TV interview with A Current Affair about the rabid dogs ‘terrorising’ their local area.
That interview has been watched tens of millions of times online and become part of Australia’s digital age folklore.
The 66-year-old has spoken to Daily Mail Australia about life as the ‘barking dog man’ and says even this many years on he is regularly stopped for a selfie.
Ray Graham laughs as he watches the video that made him an internet sensation – his interview from 2010 with Australian news program A Current Affair
‘I get noticed in the street, not as much now, but it still happens,’ he said.
‘Just the other week I was out shopping with Kerry and these two guys started after us and we thought they were going to mug us but all they wanted was just a photo!
‘They always want to take a photo and sometimes I sort of bark at them – they really love that.
‘It’s been all positive, there’s been no downside, but it has definitely changed my life.’
The significance of the interview on Mr Graham’s life has stretched far beyond being stopped by strangers when he is out shopping.
In the immediate aftermath of his interview there were countless requests for him to appear on more media, all of who wanted him to repeat his barking impersonation.
There were trips to dine at parliament with local politician Victor Dominello, visits to a leading radio station and a record six consecutive appearances on A Current Affair.
While the attention has died down in recent years, Mr Graham believes social media will ensure it never goes away.
‘It’s amazing how it took off the way it did, because it was just a spur of the moment thing,’ he said.
Mr Graham’s unique impersonation of dogs running rampant in his western Sydney street was watched millions of times across the world and led to him being known as ‘barking dog man’
The grandfather told Daily Mail Australia that even eight years on from his interview, he is still asked by strangers for a photo when down the street
‘It was a pretty significant thing that happened in my life,’ Mr Graham, now 66, admitted
‘It was a pretty significant thing that happened in my life.
‘As a matter of fact, one night Tracey Grimshaw came on and said we had to cancel the story we had planned to run because we’re running the barking dog man again.
‘The funniest thing now is when I’m scrolling through Facebook looking for photos of my grandkids and I come across videos with my own face barking back at me!’
Mr Graham’s video has reemerged in recent years, largely thanks to the prominence of memes.
When Daily Mail Australia visited Mr Graham’s home recently, he was in a particularly happy mood reminiscing about his time as arguably Australia’s most famous man.
Within seconds of walking out his front door to say hello, the barking had begun.
Mr Graham points to the direction the dogs ‘came bounding over’ down his quiet Sydney street
The internet sensation laughs after jokingly barking at the postman delivering mail in his street
And for the next hour as Mr Graham went about his normal day to day duties, putting out the washing and even drying the dishes, very little changed.
‘I just love barking,’ he said.
‘I think seeing people get a kick out of it like they do, that makes me really happy.
‘Other than the video I’m a pretty normal guy. Kerry and I are retired now, we spend our time looking after the grandkids and that’s about it.
‘I’m humbled by all the attention. It’s pretty nice having people come up to me in the street… I like it and I enjoy it, and if I had my time over again I’d do it all the same.’